Flying schools in AP about to close down

 Flying schools in AP about to close down

Flying schools in AP about to close down

Hyderabad: After flying high in the 1990s aviation boom, many flying schools are on the verge of getting grounded. Reason? Their licence agreements have not been renewed.
Surprisingly, licences of all the five flying schools in the state, including two in the city and one in Nadergul expired more than 10 years ago. This may pale in comparison as only two out of the 92 flying schools including private and government ones have valid licences in the country.
While many schools have been running for years without a licence, some have been forced to shut down or move to other locations.
“As far as the Airport Authority of India (AAI) is concerned, all the schools in the state are unauthorised operators. But when schools want to renew their licences, they put forth terms which no one can accept,” head of a flying school in the state rued. In fact, the five flying schools, including the historic Nizam’s Flying Club have been functioning by paying the rent as per the previous lease agreements.
Though the industry has hit a huge air pocket, each school has an average of 250 students per term while some have up to 500 students. Now, school authorities are fearing eviction as the AAI has increased the land rent for all the schools. According to the notice, the total rent to AAI works out to around Rs 2.2 crore per annum. Ironically, the turnover of most schools is less than Rs 2 crore.In a ripple effect, the increase in the AAI rent rates is also expected to increase training fee from Rs 18 lakh to Rs 40 lakh for 200 hours of flying. This will push students to flying schools abroad where the fee is less than Rs 12 lakh.
Aviation experts predict that there will be no functioning flying schools in the state if the present licence policy persists as they would all move out to other states where the rent is reasonable.
“Hyderabad has had a very rich flying culture from the time of the Nizam and the state has a high number of flying enthusiasts. If the schools move out, this culture will die,” an aviation expert said.
However, R K Singla director, Airports Authority of India (AAI), Hyderabad, said that there is nothing that the state authorities can do as the orders come from the centre.

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~ by anand213 on May 9, 2009.

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